If you suffer from achy, arthritic joints, seasonal depression, tend towards anxiety, or can’t seem to recover from one cold before the next one hits, rose hip tea may be a wonderful way to reduce pain, raise moods, and generally lift the body’s resilience. Rose hips, which have been used both medicinally and as a food for over 2,000 years, are very high in Vitamin C and other antioxidants, bioflavonoids, fatty acids, carotenoids, and Vitamin E, to name a few. Rose hips have been shown to improve immune function and reduce joint pain. They contain anti-cancer properties, improve postpartum depression and anxiety, and even improve the risk of heart disease. As a food, rose hips are widely used in jams, jellies, syrups, chutneys, wine, and in the simplest form – tea. Here is a wonderfully simple and delicious recipe for soothing, nourishing, and uplifting rose hip tea.

Rose Hip Tea

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Beverage
Servings 2 cups

Ingredients
  

  • 3 cups rose hips organic/unsprayed

Instructions
 

  • Harvesting the rose hips: At time of harvest, rose hips should be firm, plump, and have a little give when squeezed. Their color should range from deep orange to bright red. If they are dark red, they are overripe. They are sweetest at this point, but have lost much of their Vitamin C. To harvest, carefully remove 3 cups of rose hips from the stem of the rose plants.
  • Preparing the tea: Cut off the bloom stem and cut each rose hip in half. If a knife proves to be tricky, try scissors. Scrape out the pith and seeds (I've found this to be easiest with a grapefruit spoon). Rinse the rose hips in cold water and air dry them out on a clean towel or cheese cloth. When dry, mince the hips. Boil in 3 cups of water for 15 minutes. Strain, and enjoy hot or cold.
  • Other ideas: If you're the creative type, add dried lavender (preferably L. officinalis), fresh or dried ginger, or dried hibiscus flowers to the tea. If the added ingredients are fresh, boil along with the rose hips. If they are dried or flowery, let them steep in the rose hip tea after the boiling phase.

Notes

Rose hips will have the most nutritional value when used directly after harvesting.
To dry rose hips, spread the halved rose hips after the pith and seeds have been removed on wax paper and leave in a dark area for three weeks or until they are hard and wrinkly. Store them in airtight containers, away from direct light. When using dried rose hips for tea, use 3 tsp per cup of boiling water, and let steep for 10 minutes.
Do not use aluminum pots for cooking the hips, as these will change the color of the hips and deplete Vitamin C.